The Weeknight Joint, Revisited

This post originally appeared on Metrocurean in February 2006, but I thought it's time to revisit the topic after seeing a comment by Creative DC's Amanda on places you only go in the off-hours. My opinions are a little outdated on specific spots, but hopefully we can generate some fresh ideas in the comments.

I've been growing concerned with a new designation creeping into my going-out lexicon that to me indicates a.) I'm becoming antisocial, b.) I ain't getting any younger, c.) DC needs more cool hangouts to disperse the crowds, or d.) all of the above. I keep finding myself saying that a bar is great but "only on a weeknight."

Someone asked me about Bar Pilar the other day. I said, "I love it ... on a weeknight." On weekends, the narrow space can become a bottle neck and moving anywhere away from your seat (if you get one) can be a challenge. "What do you think of Local 16?" asked another friend. Same deal: grab a seat at the dark, moody bar on a weeknight and it's great. Come on the weekend, and it'll be you and every stiletto-clad 20-something waiting in line to get in and become a human pinball. Chi Cha? Same thing. And while we're at it, let's just throw the entirety of Adams Morgan into this category.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy a shoulder-bumping, martini-sloshing night out every now and then. But more often, when it comes to heading out for a drink on the weekends, I'm at a loss for someplace laid back. Even more challenging is thinking of a shall we say "trendy" place where you'll want to don your cool jeans and drink $15 martinis without a mob of people.

The few places that do jump to mind for low-key weekend drinks include my couch, The Saloon (fancy pants not required), a few restaurant/hotel bars like The Tabard Inn and Firefly and ... um ... *crickets chirping*

Am I an antisocial scrooge or onto something here? Is your favorite hangout too crowded on the weekend? Where do you go when fighting crowds isn't on your weekend agenda? Or would you rather keep it a secret so the rest of us don't ruin it?